Absolute Ban on Smoking

  1. I wasn't at work today but there was supposed to be an announcement that the hospital was going to ban smoking on all hospital property...including the parking lots. Currently, we have designated smoking areas at the entrance ways, marked off about 15 feet away from the doors. The "absolute ban" will include your car if it is parked on hospital grounds (which is the only place to park). Security (already understaffed) will be patrolling the parking lots and ticketing anyone caught smoking.

    Now, I'm not a smoker so it doesn't affect me personally. But I know some people who are going to be VERY upset (my unit manager leaves the floor several times a day to smoke). I *do* like the idea that workers won't be hanging out around the entrance ways smoking cigarettes. But I'd still think they would find some spot away from the general public where the smokers could go.

    Anyone else work at a place with this kind of policy and how does it work?
  2. 29 Comments

  3. by   Nurse Ratched
    Wow - nice idea, but I suspect it will just result in people going further for their breaks and being off the floor longer.

    Our whole town and later the county is about to go smoke free in all public buildings, so I expect we won't be far behind you.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I work where such a policy exists and it DOES work for many reasons. Just so you know, there is quite a lengthy thread regarding non-smoking policies somewhere....as usual, a debate ensued.

    There are many points of view regarding this and how "fair" it is. some nurses think patients in their dying days deserve to have a smoke if they choose...others feel people ought to be able to smoke outside (patients and staff) when time permits. I say seeing staff outside a hospital smoking sets a HORRIBLE example, period. And I do not have time to escort smoking patients outside to smoke. I am glad smokers have to go 100ft away from the hospital perimeter to smoke. Why? It is nice not to have to walk thru a wall of smoke to get in. It works for me, it will work for you too after the policy is set a while.
  5. by   hoolahan
    I'm with you SmilingBluEyes! I do not want to have to escort people out to smoke either. What does it say about an institution of health to allow cancer-contributing agents to be readiy consumed on the property? I think it makes a statement, we won't support behaviors that contribute to adverse health effects.

    Now, if we could only get the cafeterias to stop serving frech fries and donuts, and fried chicken. I used to work at a cardiac eclusive hospital, and you could find more grease in that cafeteria than you could in a garage!

    Anyway, this is no help to me in my present job. I do home health,and I am on the pt's turf. There have been times I have had to step outside and use my inhaler before I could go back into a house. MOst people do actually ask me if I mind, and I wouod never impose on them to not smoke in their own home, but I don't stay for chit-chat either. One house I go to there is a sweet little dog, and the poor little thing sneezes and sneezes, and I hate to think of the little chap left in that smokey house where windows are NEVER opened. I want to dognap him in the worst way..., but I know they love him in every other way, and otherwise he is well cared-for, they think the sneezing is "an allergy." Yes, I see the pt for lung cancer!
  6. by   Tweety
    We've had a smoking ban for several years as the one you describe, including the no-smoking in your car or on hospital property. It's widely ignored by patients and staff. Staff goes out in the dark of night in hidden corners smoking, security knows it and gives lip service to the rules. Patients smoke out in the front of the hospital now that there is no designated area.

    Every now and then administration gets a hair up their butt and enforces the rule, maybe writing someone up to prove they are serious. The chairman even fired a smoker she found on the property in the light of day.

    Now their latest target is the patients. MDs are not allowed to write orders like "o.k. for patient to leave floor to smoke". If an MD writes an order like this we are to call the MD and tell him to discharge the patient. If they are well enough to leave the floor to smoke they are obviously well enough to go home. If patients insist on leaving the floor to smoke, they must discharge themselves AMA.

    I'm anti-smoking. Hate it. Think it's horribly unhealthy and don't want to be around it. But I also would like to see a smoking area because we waste so much time and effort dealing with this and arguing with patients. I love it when the minute a patient is admitted they want to leave to smoke and you have to wake up an MD to get an order for a patch. Just let them smoke and give me some peace.
  7. by   jadednurse
    To non-smokers, banning smoking may sound like a perfectly rationale way of solving the problem, but as a nurse who smokes I know I would find it hard to work in an environment for 12+ hours a day knowing I couldn't have a smoke on my break. I realize it's an ugly habit, it's unhealthy, and it's a horrible example and all those arguments. However, since, for a variety of reasons, I am not quitting right now I'm sue I would manage to find some way smoking during the day. Even if it meant going to my car and driving around the block during my break. I'm not proud of it, just being honest.

    I just have a hard time swallowing some of the hypocrisy coming from some of these hospitals. They're going to ban smoking for all it's evil and perils, yet they continuously allow and encourage unsafe staffing patterns which put nurses and patients at risk. I know it sounds like I'm making an excuse for smokers...OK, maybe just this smoker!
  8. by   hoolahan
    Understood jaded, as a former smoker the worst kind,I understand the need. And you do have a valid point about unsafe ratios, this IS a more important issue!

    3rd shift, I do like the fact that pt would have to sign out AMA. But, can't they just turn around and come back into the ER then? Too much paperwork. And, if the doc forgets to write the patch order while he sees the pt, and this should be like ordering prn tylenol, he deserves to get wakened in the night, tho I hear you on what a PIA it is for you!
  9. by   Rustyhammer
    I am now 128 days without smoking.
    A smoking ban in any facility or building just helps me stay one more day smoke free.
  10. by   jadednurse
    Good for you Rusty! Keep up the good work! I'll get there too someday!
  11. by   RNforLongTime
    My opinion, as a former smoker, is that if employees want to smoke, they should be given an area in which they are allowed to do so out of the publics view. One hospital I worked at, we had to go across the street to the parking garage to smoke. Garage wasn't owned by the hospital, so they couldn't do a darn thing about it.

    As for patients, No way. You are sick for peet sake, last thing ya need is another freakin cigarrette!
  12. by   angelbear
    If my facility went totally smoke free I would quit. There is a nursing shortage for pete sake I am quite sure somewhere that allows smoking would be happy to have me. Our smoking area is away from all entrances. I wash thoroughly when coming back in though I am sure you could still smell it. I smell alot of things I dont like at work I get over it. I stay to my smoking area and I think non smokers should stay the heck out of my area. If my smell offends them dont stand so dang close to me. I dont want to quit right now though I wish I did but I do my very best to respect my nonsmoking coworkers space and I expect the same from them. I never complain about my coworkers sitting around reading magazines on the clock while I am running around and to my knowledge non have ever complained about my schedueled smoke breaks. I think to each his own and we should all respect eachother. Ok I admit it I am pmsing so I will shut up now. But dang it idid feel good to say all that.
  13. by   gwenith
    Okay - Aussie perspective. We banned all smokind in all goverment buildings about 10 years ago - at least. The private hosptials followed soon after. there is no smoking now in shopping centres and most restruants. Even pubs have smoke free bars.

    Because it is so widespread patients, for the most part respect it and don't give us greif. The only exception is schizophrenics because there is research that suggests they are in some way stabilized by smoking so we tend to let them have more latitiude but they still cannot smoke indoors in 90% of places. The ban had one interesting side effect The patient population became very mobile - you can see them sitting outside with drip poles Ivacs and other paraphenalia - still smoking
  14. by   jadednurse
    That's the ticket, I'll claim I'm schizophrenic and need a cigarette to "stabilize" me!

    edited to add smiley

    re-edited to correctly spell edited in my first edit!